A spell of insomnia saw me up early Wednesday morning (April 25). I poured a glass of milk and tried to read Taine's "Introduction to the History of English Literature." But my mind was too restless to concentrate, so I switched on the television to see what anyone else up at so ungodly an hour would be watching, aside from Jay Leno, "infomercials," or national news. I would settle for anything that would induce drowsiness.
Lo and behold, what did I encounter at 3:05 a.m. on Channel 15, the local Public Broadcasting System station out of Norfolk, but propaganda for Islam. I have not been able to learn the actual name of the program. Several calls to the station's program director asking for its name have not been returned. In the newspaper TV listings, a block of hours from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. was marked simply "Varied Programs." Not "various"? But, never mind.
However, if it is to have a name, it should be dubbed either "Islam for Real Dummies" or "Islam for Dhimmis." Billed certainly as a "documentary," it left out a great mass of very crucial documents, leaving one with the question in one's mind: If Islam is such a mellow, benign creed, how could anyone hold a brief on it? It was such a solemn yet saccharine encomium it could just as well have been a promotion for the Rotary Club or the Knights of Columbus.
But, my tax dollars were at work, shilling for Mohammad.
This is the kind of "educational" film doubtless shown to gullible, impressionable, ignorant teenagers in high schools, in the same rank as films shown them about environmentalism, recycling, tolerance, sex, global warming, and "democracy." Perhaps it is even shown in middle or grade schools, our Comprachico-trained public school authorities having a policy of brainwashing children as early as possible.
Now, I had not seen such a "puff piece" (thanks to Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Critic for that term) since Michael Moore's last effort at disinformation and Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," so "Islam for Dhimmis" was a special experience. I will not recount everything that was in the film, but focus on some highlights.
One image sticks in my mind, that of a comely young Muslim woman, appropriately attired in an immaculately white hair-and-neck-hiding scarf, being interviewed about the Islamic notion of charity. "If you can't give someone money, then Mohammad says you should reward him with a smile. Mohammad is such a wonderful role model!" She said it with her best Moonie smile, as well. That whole segment of the half-hour program was devoted to the Fourth Pillar of Islam, of giving alms to the poor as a matter of duty and as "purification" of one's wealth. (I immediately thought of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, and the penance they haven chosen to perform with their wealth.)
Smile? No mention was made anywhere in the program of all the smiles hidden by the ski masks worn by the troops of Hezbollah or Hamas or by the murderers of Nick Berg, Daniel Pearl, or of any other "infidel" Westerner similarly subjected to such compassion.
Another image that sticks in my mind is the footage of Hajj pilgrims thronging by the tens of thousands around the Kaaba in Mecca, a veritable sea of wild-eyed manqués who hope to hike around the place seven times and press their lips to the Black Stone, and by kissing it, add their own sins to its likely unsanitary surface. No footage, however, was shown of the usual stampedes of the faithful that result in hundreds of them being crushed to death as surely as if the Black Stone fell on them from the sky, leaving behind mountains of empty sandals. So much for the Fifth Pillar of Islam.
The program's take on the early history of Islam was interesting in that it was a model of how to gloss over historical facts. After Mohammad captured Mecca and died shortly thereafter, his followers spread the faith throughout the Middle East, Africa, and into parts of southern Europe - by the sword. In the program, however, this was not called "conquest" by force of arms and threat of annihilation. Islam's history was presented in so slick a manner that an uncritical mind would have gone away thinking that it was a peaceful spread of the creed, involving no slaughters, mayhem, destruction, or the enslavement of whole populations.
It was left to the dhimmi mind to infer that the success of Allah's gospel was the work of just hard-working imams and mullahs and Sufis preaching the Word in pagan lands, just like St. Patrick in Ireland. It implied that the conquerors respected the religions of the populations they subdued, and all was well. There was no mention of the fact that those populations the Islamists permitted to keep their religions, were obliged to pay jizya, protection money that was a sign of submission and dhimmitude, a condition of "coexistence" which meant little more than dhimmis getting the hell out of the way of any Muslim.
The narrator did not broach the subject that Islam could spread only because the final collapse of Greco-Roman civilization created a political/military vacuum that allowed Islam to sweep through the known world in the south and the Huns and Visigoths to sweep down from the north, probably because it was history that did not fit the thesis.
Another segment on "colonialism" was equally interesting. For some strange, unexplained reason, Islam declined in the 19th century, allowing Western powers to colonize great portions of the expiring semi-caliphate of Islam, overrunning North Africa, the Middle East, and as far away as Indonesia. There was a peculiar focus on British, French, and Dutch colonialism, complete with old footage of soldiers dispersing mobs of presumably Muslims with guns, bayonets and swords. In the late 19th century, according to the program, "resentment" over Islam's decline and the power of the West grew. I am supposing that was the program producer's way of cocking a snook at Britain, France and the Netherlands, which now have the most contentious, unassimilated Muslim populations.
That "resentment" covers a lot of territory not even hinted at in the program, including fatwahs, jihads, and anti-Semitism. "Resentment" was probably the softest term the program's scriptwriter could come up with and have approved by his Islamic script consultants to stand in for "hatred," that is, for hatred of the West for being the West and for being superior, as well.
Interestingly, not once was the role of oil brought up during the program. The footage of the 1930's and 1940's suddenly depicted Arab emirs and princes debouching from airplanes and taking part in international conferences, with no explanation of how or why tribal chieftains could suddenly do these things. No mention was made of all the expropriated, Western developed oil fields in the Mideast that Western governments neglected to defend for their owners (and whose owners capitulated and "cooperated" with the expropriations to form such bastard entities as ARAMCO). All those skinny Bedouin emirs and princes grew very fat; look at the members of the House of Saud today.
In explaining the character and content of Islam, the narrator said that Islam recognizes only one God (Allah), and that Mohammad is his prophet. He did not go on to point out one major implication of that belief, to wit, that if Mohammad is not any other creed's prophet, then it is a false creed and consequently a legitimate target for repression and ultimate elimination by Islam. This theological Catch-22 is blatantly obvious, yet it is astounding that it is not grasped by most who comment on Islam (including Pope Benedict). It is a central tenet of Islam; remove it, or demote Mohammad to just one of a gaggle of Muslim prophets, and Islam would implode as a religious/political ideology.
(Similarly, Jesus Christ was not the only religious "savior" of his time to be crucified by the Romans; imagine the consequences throughout Christianity if that icon were shattered, as well. How many candidates for the role of "son of God" were there originally? Did the authors of the Bible draw up a short list, or hold an "American Idol" style talent contest to judge who was the most pacific?)
This, neither the Islamic "extremists" nor the "moderates" will or can allow to happen. No one but an unbeliever or an apostate would propose the idea, because doing so would immediately earn him a fatwah or death sentence. (Call it the Muslim "Wanted: Dead or Alive" bulletin board.). Re Salman Rushdie, Wafa Sultan, Oriana Fallaci, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Steve Emerson, and others. The roll call of those with the intellectual honesty and courage to excoriate Islam grows daily, but it is not given much press.
Also mentioned by the narrator with great deference in this segment was the fact that neither humans nor animals are permitted representation in Islamic art. This, he and some imam explained, is to discourage icons and to encourage the perception of Allah and Mohammad as "abstractions." The narrator spoke dozens of words about the beauty of Islamic architecture and the grace of Islamic calligraphy, but did not once allude to the Danish cartoons and the uproar by thousands of "tolerant" and "compassionate" Muslims calling for the cartoonists' deaths.
In all the program, no breath of suggestion was made about: the bestial strictures of Sharia law, honor killings, fatwahs on apostates and defamers of Islam, beheadings, the regular slaughter of infidels, the jihad against the West, 9/11, the London, Madrid and Bali bombings - all that and more credited to Islam, about Islam, in Islam's name.
The end credits were not surprising. The half-hour program was made possible by "The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia," "The Government of Kuwait," and "The Islamic Center," and was produced by Delphi Productions. The credits rolled down so quickly I may have missed a few other sponsor names.
I do not know if "Islam for Dhimmis" was ever aired during prime time and if this was just a rerun to fill a dead time slot in the wee hours. If my queries to WHRO Channel 15 are ever answered, I will report what is told me. It would be interesting, however, to learn who funded the production of this instance of catholic cosmetology and vetted the final cut. Probably the usual suspects, here and abroad.
It would be pointless to protest the use of my tax dollars to advance a religious doctrine by a government-funded entity such as PBS, especially a doctrine so antithetical to the principles of freedom on which this country was founded. The high Pooh-Bahs of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, like their counterparts in the BBC, would dismiss such a protest with scorn. PBS broadcasts so many programs that are antithetical that it would be churlish to upbraid it over this program alone. As have the private broadcasters - ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, etc. - it has bought into the collectivist/altruist ideological axis without the least sign of discrimination or fastidiousness, without the least regard for its totalitarian potential. All that is protected by the sacred cow of "public service."
Given the ongoing Islamist jihad against the West, the airing of "Islam for Dhimmis" is an unforgivable public "disservice," and for that offense alone, PBS should be defunded and abolished.